Post-communist studies have interpreted and analysed the political transformation in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC's), and its consequences for social life in different ways. In general, two approaches can be distinguished: a continuous and a discontinuous approach. This paper instead advances an ideational approach, which considers ideas to have a central mediating role in processes of transformation. The central question of this paper is if and how ideas, originating in communist times, continue to have relevance for everyday life in CEEC's. Using examples from a study on the interpretation of cooperation in a Slovak rural community, this paper shows that people evaluate and explain past and present-day cooperation as bricoleurs, re-using ideas originating in communist times. The concept of ideational bricolage shows that ideas are used dynamically: people actively reproduce, redefine and reconstruct old ideas in a new context.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.